United States District Court, S.D. Illinois
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
M. YANDLE UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
Original Complaint in this case (Doc. 1) was filed by two
Vandalia Correctional Center (“Vandalia”)
inmates: Quennel Augusta and Shawn J. Flores. Plaintiffs
filed the action pro se pursuant to 42 U.S.C. §
1983, claiming that they have been subjected to
unconstitutional conditions of confinement at Vandalia and at
Stateville Correctional Center (“Stateville”). On
September 1, 2017, the Court entered an Order pursuant to
Boribourne v. Berge, 391 F.3d 852 (7th Cir. 2004).
(Doc. 5). On October 4, 2017, consistent with the
Boribourne Order and Plaintiffs' responses (or
failure to respond), Plaintiff Flores's claims were
severed into a new action (17-cv-1071-NJR) and Plaintiff
Augusta was granted leave to file an amended complaint. (Doc.
October 24, 2017, Plaintiff Augusta filed an Amended
Complaint (Doc. 15) and a Motion to Request Advice (Doc. 16).
On November 1, 2017, he filed a “Motion for Instant
Action” (Doc. 17), which the Court construes as a
Motion for a Temporary Restraining Order.
case is now before the Court for a preliminary review of the
Amended Complaint (Doc. 15) pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §
1915A and to address Plaintiff's Motion to Request Advice
(Doc. 16) and Motion for Instant Action (Doc. 17).
1915A provides as follows:
(a) Screening - The court shall review,
before docketing, if feasible or, in any event, as soon as
practicable after docketing, a complaint in a civil action in
which a prisoner seeks redress from a governmental entity or
officer or employee of a governmental entity.
(b) Grounds for Dismissal - On review, the
court shall identify cognizable claims or dismiss the
complaint, or any portion of the complaint, if the complaint-
(1) is frivolous, malicious, or fails to state a claim on
which relief may be granted; or
(2) seeks monetary relief from a defendant who is immune from
action or claim is frivolous if “it lacks an arguable
basis either in law or in fact.” Neitzke v.
Williams, 490 U.S. 319, 325 (1989). Frivolousness is an
objective standard that refers to a claim that any reasonable
person would find meritless. Lee v. Clinton, 209
F.3d 1025, 1026-27 (7th Cir. 2000). An action fails to state
a claim upon which relief can be granted if it does not plead
“enough facts to state a claim to relief that is
plausible on its face.” Bell Atlantic Corp. v.
Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007). The claim of
entitlement to relief must cross “the line between
possibility and plausibility.” Id. at 557. At
this juncture, the factual allegations of the pro se
Complaint are to be liberally construed. See Rodriguez v.
Plymouth Ambulance Serv., 577 F.3d 816, 821 (7th Cir.
Complaint must also comply with Rule 8 of the Federal Rules
of Civil Procedure which requires that a pleading set forth a
“short and plain statement of the claim showing that
the pleader is entitled to relief.” See Fed.
R. Civ. P. 8(a)(2). See Bell Atlantic Corp. v.
Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007). While Rule 8 does not
require detailed factual allegations, it demands more than
bare legal conclusions and a formulaic recitation of the
elements of a cause of action. Id; see also
Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (“the
pleading standard Rule 8...demands more than an unadorned,
the-defendant-unlawfully-harmed-me accusation” and
“[t]hreadbare recitals of the elements of a cause of
action, supported by mere conclusory statements, do not
suffice”); Alexander v. United States, 721
F.3d 418, 422 (7th Cir. 2013) (conclusory statements and
labels are insufficient). A complaint must, at a minimum,
give the defendant fair notice of what the claim is and the
grounds upon which it rests; and the factual allegations must
raise a right to relief above the speculative level. See
Bissessur v. Ind. Univ. Bd. of Trs., 581 F.3d 599,
602-03 (7th Cir. 2009).
fully considering the relevant allegations in Plaintiff's
Amended Complaint, the Court concludes that this action is
subject to summary dismissal.
asserts a litany of complaints about the conditions at
Vandalia including: broken toilets and faucets (Doc. 15, p.
7); an outbreak of scabies somewhere in the prison (Doc. 15,
p. 7); inadequate heat and/or air conditioning (Doc. 15, pp.
7-9); dirty bug infested mattresses (Doc. 15, pp. 5, 7);
failure to give certain inmates working outside cold drinking
water (“work camp” inmates receive ice water, but
“uphill” inmates do not receive ice water) (Doc.
15, p. 9); the microwave and phones are located in the
bathrooms, there is no antibacterial soap (Doc. 15, pp. 5,
11); cleaning supplies are inadequate (Doc. 15, pp. 5-7, 11);
and inmates are not receiving enough juice (Doc. 15, p. 14).
Plaintiff generally alleges that Vandalia is not a safe
prison. For instance, he is concerned about whether the
correctional officers, many of whom are female and
outnumbered, are capable of protecting inmates in the event
of a fight. (Doc. 15, pp. 13-14). He has also witnessed many
fights, involving both correctional officers and inmates.
Id. Plaintiff is concerned that inmates, including
mentally ill inmates, are allowed to use razors to shave
because these razors could be used as weapons. (Doc. 15, p.